Why Every Gamer Should Have an External Hard Drive

external hard drive

There is no group of people who understand the value of peripherals more than gamers. Whether it is a gaming mouse, keyboard, or headset, gaming peripherals are an industry all their own. One of the peripherals that no gamer should be without is an external hard drive.

The external hard drive serves a lot of different functions for gamers. This is one of the peripherals that make gaming easier on the computer itself, so if you have a laptop with a solid-state drive that has limited space or you want to have a dedicated space for gaming, an external hard drive is the peripheral for you.

external hard driveExternal Hard Drives for Gaming

Despite the proliferation of solid-state drives, there are many reasons to prefer HDD for gamers. For one thing, the massive amount of storage – up to 10 TB – is something that helps gamers keeps multiple games and other files on hand. SSD’s offer much lower levels of storage.

While the faster load times are a great benefit of SSD’s, the limitations of running an operating system and storing games on SSDs will push memory to its limit.

The reality is the vast amount of memory found in HDDs is a boon to folks who enjoy gaming and wish to have variety in the different games they play. With an external HDD of about 1 TB, it’s easy to store lots of different games and have room for other important documents and other types of files as well.

This could free the internal HDD or SSD in the computer to focus more on the operating system, thus making your computer more efficient.

Advantages of External HDDs for Gaming

There are several reasons why gamers trust external hard drives for their games. While the reasons seem somewhat obvious (portability), there are other reasons that are a bit less obvious but can provide a big difference when getting a great gaming experience.

Like all peripherals, external hard drives make gaming more responsive and create a more efficient platform for gaming. You can find the best deals on external hard drives on many online websites like Amazon.

Here are some of the advantages:

  • Portability: Starting in the obvious place, portability is the main reason that external hard drives are favored by gamers. They can store information and move from computer to computer. So, if your PC is having issues or you want to upgrade to a gaming laptop, having your games and other important information stored in an external HDD makes it easy to access all your stuff without having to spend time downloading and installing everything again.
  • Cost: SSDs are still quite expensive and in a price-per-GB analysis, you will pay a lot more for an SSD than you would for an HDD. This is because SSDs are not as easy to produce as HDDs. With an over 60-year track record, HDDs have been improved upon exponentially in each generation. What was once a massive operation is now something small and versatile enough to fit in your pocket.
  • Cache Usage: It’s no secret that the boot time on an HDD is far longer than the boot time on an SSD. There are some ways around it. For example, using cache memory is a great way to avoid having to go to the root directory. Using an external HDD is a great way to use your cache memory. This will lead to faster loading speeds in the games along with better performance overall.
  • Easily Handle Modern Games: The modern game is a truly massive program. The graphics that are embedded in the games are incredibly detailed and take up a lot of space within the memory. For a computer with SSD, the percentage of space is essentially too high a ratio. Same goes for an internal HDD. Having an external HDD that is a dedicated space to games is a great way to keep these large files in one space without affecting the performance of the internal components.

How to Select the Right External Hard Drive

There are many different considerations that go into selecting the right hard drive. As a gamer, it is easy to see why you need an external HDD, the reality is these systems help you get a better gaming experience. However, you may not know the different considerations that go into finding the right combination for an external HDD that will work for you. Here are some basic considerations:

western digital external hard drive

  • Cache Memory: As discussed earlier, this increases the speed that a game will take to load. The larger the cache memory that’s available, the greater the speed
  • Failure Rate: Do your homework on external HDDs. They do fail but some will fail within a year while others can do the job efficiently for more than five years. The latter are HDDs well worth the investment.
  • Connectivity: Make sure that the external HDD you select has the latest USB connectivity. USB 3 or 3.1 is quite fast. Don’t go for an external HDD with USB 2. This is an outdated connection speed.
  • RPM Speed: RPM stands for Revolutions per Minute. The higher the RPM, the better the drive performance. The difference between 5,400 RPM and 7,200 RPM is a 33% difference in the speed of the HDD. Therefore, you always want to get a faster HDD because as the technology changes, your HDD will be able to keep up with the faster pace of newer computers.


There are many reasons that gamers have particular peripherals that they love. In the case of external HDDs, there are plenty of different choices; however there is no argument to the benefits of these peripheral devices.

External HDDs provide gamers with lots of flexibility and create efficient platforms from which to game. The best part is when you know what features to look for in an external HDD, it’s easy to make a great choice.

Just like you would purchase the right mouse and get an ergonomic keyboard and gaming chair, you should purchase an external HDD. They provide the same level of performance enhancement that other peripherals give you.